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  • Photograph of White-browed Purpletuft

    A rare photograph of the amazing White-browed Purpletuft by Ian Davies.

  • Where to watch birds and wildlife in

    Best Birds and other wildlife in Northeast Peru


    These include about 25 species confined to white-sand forest patches which are very rare, difficult to see or not present at all elsewhere; species such as Grey-legged Tinamou, Ancient Antwren, Allpahuayo (a Peruvian endemic) and Zimmer's Antbirds, Mishana Tyrannulet (a Peruvian endemic), Citron-bellied Attila and Orange-crested Manakin, as well as river-island specialists such as Zimmer's Woodcreeper, Ash-breasted and Black-and-white Antbirds, Castelnau's Antshrike, Leaden Antwren and Pearly-breasted Conebill, while other specialities include Nocturnal and Wattled Curassows, Black-faced Hawk, Pavonine Quetzal, Blue-cheeked and Purplish Jacamars, Collared and Rufous-necked Puffbirds, Fulvous Antshrike, Black Bushbird, Amazonas and Black-tailed Antbirds, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Orange-eyed Flatbill, Black-necked Red-cotinga and Velvet-fronted Grackle. (Red-billed Ground-cuckoo, Ochre-striped Antpitta, Striated Antthrush and Iquitos Gnatcatcher, a Peruvian endemic, are all very rarely seen).

    Blue-and-yellow and Red-and-green Macaws, Sunbittern, Hoatzin, Channel-billed and White-throated Toucans, Bluish-fronted, Great, Paradise, White-chinned, White-eared and Yellow-billed Jacamars, White-plumed Antbird, Wire-tailed Manakin and Musician Wren, as well as Blue-throated (Common) Piping-guan, Red-throated Caracara, Sungrebe, Pied Plover, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, parrots including Festive and Short-tailed, trogons, hummingbirds including Black-eared Fairy and Gould's Jewelfront, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, puffbirds including Brown-banded and Spotted, Rusty-breasted Nunlet, Scarlet-crowned Barbet, aracaris, Golden-collared Toucanet, woodpeckers, Red-and-white Spinetail, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, foliage-gleaners, woodcreepers, antshrikes including Pearly, antwrens including Ancient, many antbirds including Banded and Dot-backed, and Black-spotted and Reddish-winged Bare-eyes, Brownish Elaenia, tyrannulets, Lesser Wagtail-tyrant, pygmy-tyrants including Short-tailed (the world’s smallest passerine along with Black-capped), Zimmer's Tody-tyrant, Black-and-white and Yellow-browed Tody-flycatchers, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, flycatchers including Fuscous and Royal, Screaming Piha, Plum-throated, Pompadour, Purple-throated and Spangled Cotingas, Bare-necked and Purple-throated Fruitcrows, White-browed Purpletuft, manakins including Golden-headed, Western Striped and White-bearded, Saffron-crested Tyrant-manakin, tityras, becards, Collared and Long-billed Gnatwrens, Black-capped Donacobius, Black-faced and Yellow-bellied Dacnises, Fulvous Shrike-tanager, Green-and-gold, Masked Crimson, Paradise and other tanagers, honeycreepers, Oriole Blackbird, oropendolas including Band-tailed, and euphonias. Also a chance of Harpy Eagle, Black-banded, Grey-breasted and Rufous-sided Crakes, owls such as Crested and Spectacled, Rufous and Long-tailed Potoos, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Purple-breasted Cotinga (white sand forest) and Orange-backed Troupial.

    Uakari, Pygmy Marmoset, Black-mantled and Red-backed Saddleback Tamarins, Bolivian and Common Squirrel Monkeys, Brown and White-fronted Capuchins, Red Howler, Spix's Night, Equatorial Saki, Lucifer (Yellow-handed) Titi and Common Woolly Monkeys, Grey River (Tucuxi) and Pink River (Boto) Dolphins, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, South American Coati and Capybara. Also a chance of Amazonian Manatee and Giant Otter.

    Best Sites for Birds and other wildlife in Northeast Peru

    Best Times for Birds and other wildlife in Northeast Peru

    River levels are normally high from December to May, peaking in February-April. During this period of the year boats are able to penetrate deep into the forest but many foot trails are several metres under water. Water levels are usually low from June to November and the best times for birding are August and November-December.

    Recommended Bird Books etc. for Northeast Peru

    Birds of Peru by T S Schulenberg et al. Helm, 2010 (Second Edition).

    Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006 hbk/Princeton University Press, 2006 pbk.

    Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press/Helm, 2009 (Updated paperback edition of books listed next with 400 more illustrations).

    The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).

    Where to Watch Birds in Peru by T Valqui. Valqui, 2004.

    Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

    Monkeys of Peru: Pocket Identification Guide by R Aquino Y et al. Conservation International, 2015.

    Travellers' Wildlife Guides: Peru by D Pearson and L Beletsky. Interlink Books, 2015 (Second Edition).

    Bradt Wildlife Guide: Peruvian Wildlife by G Cheshire, H Lloyd and B Walker. Bradt Travel Guides, 2007.

    Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.

    Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Birding and Wildlife Trip Reports for Northeast Peru

    Many trip reports, some for Northeastern Peru, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Northeastern Peru. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Northeastern Peru' below.

    Local bird and wildlife guides in Northeast Peru

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation for birders in Northeast Peru

    Some Organized Tours for birds and other wildlife to Northeast Peru

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Northeastern Peru in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.